Second Chance Sunday: London and Natalie

Wow…sometimes you start writing a post and it just never gets published. But it really should have, because it was a gem. This was one of those that I found in my drafts folder.

So I’m having my own version of Throwback Thursday: Second Chance Sunday.

This post featured my “first born”, London, and was originally written back when Natalie was only a few months old:

A lot of people have been asking how the cats are adjusting to the wee princess. Thankfully I can say pretty well on both accounts. London was always a mama’s boy, in my lap at every opportunity. Once my belly got in the way he begrudgingly sought solace in daddy’s lap instead, and still has to for the most part. He does look for every chance to steal the lap or even share it with Natalie. It’s a very competitive relationship.

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Today I snuck into Natalie’s room to take some pictures while she napped, and London decided he couldn’t just let her be the center of attention.

So first he showed off by nailing the high jump into the crib.

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Then he checked to make sure he had good light.

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Shook out his fur.

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And posed.

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As a follow up to this post, at 21 months old, Natalie is extremely good with animals of all kinds, and I attribute that to learning with the cats. From the get go we taught her to be gentle, and nice, and to not play with their faces. I’ve only had to remind her a handful of times about not grabbing the tail. “Kitty” was one of her first words, and she loves her big brothers. London will allow her to pet him as long as she’s slow, but Malcolm will still dart away rather than risk it. Eventually he’ll realize she’s another source of scritches and wise up.

London has a nasty habit of scratching our door jambs, and Natalie has picked up on our reprimands of him. She’s taken to admonishing him with a “London, no!” if she thinks he’s up to no good…which is 75% of the time. The other day she scolded him for knocking a tape measure off the bookshelf, then discovered that he wanted to chase it and began wiggling it like a wand for him. This only furthers London’s disillusion that I gave birth to Natalie only so he could have a devoted playmate and petter.

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Bon Voyage Pet Bed | Pinterest Challenge

I’m joining in on the fun over at Young House Love, Bower Power, Hi Sugarplum, and The Great Indoors.

The challenge was to finally take one of those projects or ideas that you’ve been pinning on Pinterest and make something! I had a couple ideas, but after an impromptu thrift shop trip, I scored a beautiful older suitcase, and decided to make a cat bed, inspired by Apartment Therapy’s post.

In the inspiration post, they use a half suitcase, but this one had a great pocket where I could stash my boys’ toys. Plus, I was working within Natalie’s nap time, and wanted to get it done before she woke up.

I gathered my materials:

  • 1 hard sided suitcase
  • 1 old pillow that was retired from the guest bedroom
  • 1 length of fabric from my stash
  • trim
  • hot glue gun
  • safety pins
  • scissors

First, I cut the fabric large enough that it would wrap around the pillow.

Because I was working within the uncertain confines of Natalie’s nap, I did a no sew version of a pillow cover. I pulled in the fabric around the corners, similar to hospital corners on a bed. Then I used safety pins to secure them, slipping the pin through the pillow fabric as well.

I made sure the pins were safely under the pillow so they wouldn’t be exposed.

I then used hot glue to secure the trim to the lids, so that it would stay propped open at just beyond 90 degrees and not open all the way to 180 degrees.

Note to self: use trim that is not stretchy. Stretchy trim makes this step pointless.

I propped it against the wall, relocated the multitude of cat toys, and waited for approval from the boys.

I didn’t have to wait long.

Breakdown of costs:

  • suitcase = $7.99
  • pillow = free – retired from the guest bedroom
  • fabric = free – from my stash, originally given to me by a friend, so truly free
  • trim = free – from my stash, originally given to me by a friend, so, again, truly free
  • safety pins = free – had on hand

So the total came in at a whopping $7.99!

Little Split Level on the Urban Prairie

I’m submitting this as part of The Prairie Homestead’s Monday Barn Hop.

Anyone else think of Gnomeo and Juliet?

I feel like the gnome in this picture, with Monday’s little gremlins carrying off my stiff, lifeless body. Her Royal Highness has been testing me today, swinging between happy and miserable within seconds. My hope is she’s just overtired and stimulated from having visitors the last 4 days.

I’ll recap this weekend later on this week, but today I’m writing about a new obsession I have.

Homesteading.

Yes, you heard me right. Homesteading. Like, goats and cows and chickens and bees and veggies and other crunchy granola-type things. And yes, I’m well aware that I live in the city of Worcester, on a main road, with my neighbors’ homes just a little too close for comfort. And the only thing I’ve successfully grown is weeds.

But there is such thing as Urban Homesteading, and I’ve been reading up on it. And the top title in the picture below pretty much sums up my approach.

homesteading books

It started with a brand new e-book called Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger, the gorgeous author of The Prairie Homestead. It helps you discover what aspects of homesteading you want to incorporate, and it’s broken up into 21 days, with brief and easy assignments each day.

Sean and I did hit up the Flower and Patio Show yesterday, which was, for the most part, a complete disappointment. Not worth the $10 entry fee. But we did catch a very neat presentation on cooking with herbs, where I learned about infusing vinegar, creating dressings, and making herb butter. Do I sense Christmas presents this year?

The horticulturist who presented was selling a seed propagation kit for $25. It included seeds, soil, trays and the vented mini greenhouse to house them. And directions…very important.

cat guards greenhouse

Not to mention it’ll keep my little seedlings safe from our rogue chewers.

So next, I have to plan my garden. What I’ll grow when, building the raised beds, and composting!

London and Natalie

A lot of people have been asking how the cats are adjusting to the wee princess. Thankfully I can say very well on both accounts.

London was always a mama’s boy, in my lap at every opportunity. Once my belly got in the way he begrudgingly sought solace in daddy’s lap instead, and still has to for the most part. He does look for every chance to steal the lap or even share it with Natalie. It’s a very competitive relationship.

Image

Today I snuck into Natalie’s room to take some pictures while she napped, and London decided he couldn’t just let her be the center of attention.

So first he showed off by nailing the high jump into the crib.

Image

Then he checked to make sure he had good light.

Image

Shook out his fur.

Image

And posed.

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